Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Poetry Friday: Pain stayed so long

In honor of this week's medical diagnosis, I went searching for a poem on migraines, and found this one at a whole web page dedicated to art about migraines.

This is no masterpiece, I'll admit, and I think it elides some of the true horrors of severe and chronic pain, but it does say something important.

I count myself very lucky that I don't have migraines which are anywhere near as bad as the ones the people at this site describe, or as the ones my Mom or Crafty Jew have. In fact, this poem reminds me more of my experience with depression than of my migraines. But there you are. However it happens, and no matter what desperate measures we'll take to be rid of it, pain can be a good teacher.

Pain stayed so long

Pain stayed so long
I said to him today,
"I will not have you with me anymore
And paused there startled at the look he wore.
"I who have been your friend,"
he said to me, "I who have been your teacher
--all that you know of understanding love,
of sympathy and patience,
I have taught you.
Shall I go?"
He spoke the truth,
this strange unwelcome guest;
I watched him leave and knew that he was wise.
He left a heart grown tender in my breast.
He left a far, clear vision in my eyes.
I dried my tears, and lifted up a song
Even for one who'd tortured me so long.